If you’re a joint pain sufferer you may have noticed that come the onset of any cold, wet weather, your joints ache far more than usual.
“People who suffer from arthritis may experience increased pain and stiffness during colder months,” says Dr Rod Hughes, who is a Consultant Rheumatologist, “This may be because low barometric pressure has a physical impact on the joints and heightens inflammation, which makes your joint movement more painful. During cold weather, the body focuses on circulating blood around the core and the major organs rather than your muscles and joints. As a result, your joints may seem less flexible.’’
1. Movement often helps:
Regular exercise is great for keeping your joints supple, so don't let the cold weather deter you from your morning walk. Try some low impact indoor exercises such as yoga or pilates, or even pop to your local pool and take a swim. Exercise not only loosens and lubricates stiff joints, but helps any prevent winter weight gain, which is an added strain on your joints.
2. Use heat to help you relax:
Stiff, tense, and sore muscles can be relaxed and relieved with just a little heat, so joints are no different. Try a heat pack or a warm bath to help soothe stiff joints and relax all the muscles around the area. Use a heat application for at least 15 minutes before exercise and then again immediately following. You could also use it any time you need any additional relief from nagging joint pain.
3. Keep your spirits up:
Feeling low during the winter months can mean that your pain feels worse. It’s important to carry on doing things throughout the winter months that you know give you a ‘lift’. Whether that’s spending time with friends, treating yourself, or carrying on with your hobbies. Regular exercise is also helpful for boosting your mood and overall wellbeing.
Supplements can also help joint pain. GOPO – a natural anti-inflammatory compound derived from rose-hip - can reduce joint pain. For further information head to Gopo.
For more health tips this winter, grab a copy of the latest Yours, which is out fortnightly.